fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Gloria Pattugalan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Gloria Pattugalan <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:36:08 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From Mrs.Gloria Pattugalan,
Â From Mrs.Gloria Pattugalan,
I want to solicit for your help in fulfiling my wish, i am Mrs.Gloria Pattugalan.68yrs old widow, my husband and i worked with Tullow oil Ivory Coast, Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire before he died seven years ago.
I am writting you this message via a computer lap top on my sick bed at the hospital were i am undergoing medical treatment,i have been diagnosed of endometrial cancer,unfortunatelly for me my doctor said i don't have any chance to survive except by a miracle and i have spent a lot of money on medical treatment yet no improvement.
The reason why i am writting you this email is because i want you to stand as beneficiary to the sum of my $ 3 Million (Three million united states dollars) which i inherited from my late husband. I dont have any bilogical child of my own who will inherit this money neither do i have any adopted child.
Donating this $3 Million Dollars (Three million united states dollars) as charity is the only legacy i can leave behind after my death, please help me to fulfill this goal before i die.I would like you to pls convert 25% of the total sum for your own personal use so that you could use the remaning money very well as i have stated.
If you are willing to help me receive this money and do as i wish then do respond me immediately and i will give you required details.
Expecting your response soonest.